HIV/AIDS and Children and Adolescents

January 2009
To be reviewed 2014

by the HIV Issues Committee with support from the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Committee

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists should:

  1. Acquire basic knowledge about HIV/AIDS and its impact on children and adolescents. This should cover epidemiology, neurodevelopmental effects and clinical course of infection, psychiatric and consultative interventions, risk behaviors and prevention.
  2. Understand how to conduct a HIV risk assessment including a developmentally appropriate history of sexual activity, substance abuse and sexual abuse history.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists are encouraged to:

  1. Participate in the development of programs which are effective in reducing sexual risk behaviors among the general adolescent population.
  2. Participate in the development of HIV risk reduction programs targeted for adolescents who are chronically mentally ill, or developmentally disabled.
  3. Support and participate in research efforts directed at learning how the impact of HIV on children, adolescents and families can be ameliorated and how transmission of HIV to and among young people can be reduced.